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CMM 250 - Core Course in Stem Cell Biology, Section 210


Instructor: Karl Willert ( 858-822-3235

Administrative Contact: Marci Murray ( 858-534-8510


Winter 2020, January 7 - March 12, 2020

Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, Room 3803



This course provides the latest information in stem cell biology, medicine, and ethics. Faculty members from UCSD, The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, The Salk Institute, La Jolla Allergy & Immunology, and The Scripps Research Institute will give 1-hour lectures on the basic concepts of embryonic and adult stem cells. In addition, once per week students will present scientific papers that cover some of the recent findings in these rapidly advancing fields of stem cell research.

Scientific lectures

Faculty speakers will present basic, translational and clinical research findings involving stem cells in human and model systems. Topics will include what is known about various stem cell populations; the identification, purification and properties of stem cells; possible and actual uses of stem cells in animal models of relevant diseases; possible and actual uses in clinical application to an organ system or disease state. Active participation is encouraged and will be a main criterion for grading.

Journal Club

All students will present one or two papers during the course. On the first day of class the instructor will assign presentation dates. Students will select one original research paper relevant to topics covered during the course. For each paper, the presenter is expected to provide an introduction, background and significance of the topic. To ensure active participation in the journal club, the presenter will call on the other students at random to explain a given figure.

Attendance is mandatory. You must sign in every week on the sheet provided. One excused absence will be allowed per quarter.
Faculty lecturers will present topics in a manner that encourages participation by the students. Questions and comments are highly encouraged and spontaneous contributions will be a major criterion for grading.
Each student will present at least one paper of their choice during the course. Introductory presentations should be relatively brief (10-15 minutes), thoroughly prepared and clearly delivered. In preparing these presentations, it may be helpful to incorporate recent reviews on the topic of the paper. Students are strongly encouraged to use PowerPoint, Keynote, or PDFs to assist in the clarity and concision of the presentation. The main job of the presenter is to help the class gain a clear understanding of the conceptual context, purpose and significance of each paper. The presenter is responsible for importing each figure (including supplemental figures from journal websites, if needed) into PowerPoint for presentation by randomly selected students. The instructor will be available for consultation during the preparation of presentation to offer guidance and help on the presentation content.


Course Syllabus CMM 250 Section ID 210 - 2020

9:30 am - 10:30 am


Week 1
January 7, 2020 Tuesday Course Introduction “Pluripotent stem cells” Karl Willert, Ph.D.

“Building a Lung” 

 Xin Sun, Ph.D.

January 9, 2020 Thursday

“Stem cells to the rescue: Saving the northern white rhino from extinction”

Marisa Korody, Ph.D.

Sanford Seminar, Roth Auditorium

Bradley Cairns, Ph.D.

Week 2
January 14, 2020 Tuesday

“Endodermal Progenitors and Modeling Diabetes in a Dish”

Maike Sander, M.D.

“Viacyte Clinical Trial Update”

Kevin D’Amour, Ph.D.
January 16, 2020 Thursday

"Genome Engineering: A Primer"

Prashant Mali, Ph.D.

Journal Club #1

Week 3
January 21, 2020 Tuesday

“HSC Maintenance”

Robert Signer, Ph.D.

“HSC Development”

  David Traver, Ph.D.

January 23, 2020 Thursday

“Imaging Technologies”

Eric Ahrens, Ph.D.

Journal Club #2


Week 4
January 28, 2020 Tuesday

“Utilization of Stem Cells in Spinal Cell- Replacement-Based Therapies”

Martin Marsala, M.D.

“Generation of functional human brain organoids”

Alysson Muotri, Ph.D.

January 30, 2020 Thursday

 Ethics Reading Discussion

Mary Devereaux, Ph.D.

“Introduction to Stem Cell Ethics”

  Mary Devereaux, Ph.D.

Week 5
February 4, 2020 Tuesday

“Stem cells, gene therapy and cystinosis”

Stephanie Cherqui, Ph.D.

"Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Study Cellular Differentiation and Reprogramming"

Chris Benner, Ph.D.

February 6, 2020 Thursday

“Liver and Regeneration”

David Brenner, M.D.

Journal Club #3

Week 6
February 11, 2020 Tuesday

“Spermatogonial Stem Cells”

Miles Wilkinson, Ph.D.

“Trophoblast stem cells and placental development”

Mana Parast, M.D., Ph.D.
February 13, 2020 Thursday

“Tissue Engineering”

Adam Engler, Ph.D.

Sanford Seminar, Roth Auditorium

Mark Mercola, Ph.D.

Week 7
February 18, 2020 Tuesday

“Hippo signaling in stem cells”

Kun Liang Guan, Ph.D.

“Wnt signaling in stem cells”

Karl Willert, Ph.D.

February 20, 2020 Thursday

“DNA Modifications and Their Biological Roles”

Anjana Rao, Ph.D.

Journal Club #4
Week 8
February 25, 2020 Tuesday

“Immunologic Consequences of Cellular Reprogramming Processes"

  Gerald Morris, M.D.

“Bio-responsive nano-materials”

Ester Kwon, Ph.D.

February 27, 2020 Thursday

“Cardiac Stem Cells”

Farah Sheikh, Ph.D.
Journal Club #5
Week 9
March 3, 2020 Tuesday

“Modeling eye diseases”

Karl Wahlin, Ph.D.

“Epidermal stem cells”

George Sen, Ph.D.
March 5, 2020 Thursday

“Growing human organs”

  Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Ph.D.

Journal Club #6
Week 10
March 10, 2020 Tuesday

“Brain cancer”

Jeremy Rich, M.D., Ph.D.

  “Cancer Immunotherapies”

  Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D.

March 12, 2020 Thursday

“Cancer and cancer stem cells”

Catriona Jamieson, M.D., Ph.D.

Sanford Seminar, Roth Auditorium

Scott Fraser, Ph.D.